Attic Oratory

Prof. Michael Arnush Ladd 209 x5462 Hours: MF 12-1pm
Web Resources

Our readings will be drawn from four sources: Demosthenes' speech in Greek with a helpful translation; introductions to the speech and to oratory in the Cambridge text and the Texas translation; other speeches contained in the Univ. of Texas series on Attic oratory; scholarship collected by Carawan in his edition on Attic oratory. We will proceed on two parallel tracks: continuous reading of the Greek; pieces in English that examine oratory and that illustrate different styles of rhetoric, and the career of Demosthenes and the context of On the Crown. Since class meetings occur on Wednesdays and Fridays, you should focus your homework from Friday-Wednesday on preparing chapters of the Greek, and your Wednesday-Friday homework on preparing pieces in English. While our focus on Fridays will be on works in English, you should expect that we will cover some Greek on those days as well, so please review Greek for Fridays.
Reading Demosthenes On the Crown

Demosthenes' speech consists of 324 chapters (82 pages in English) and so we will read select portions in Greek. The linked table details the structure of the speech and the passages we will read in Greek.

Topics for Fridays

  • Abbreviations--
    • AO = The Attic Orators, ed. E. Carawan, Oxford Readings in Classical Studies
    • D18 = Demosthenes' Speeches 18 and 19, The Oratory of Classical Greece vol. 9
    • DOC = Demosthenes On the Crown, Cambridge Greek & Latin Classics

Defining and studying rhetoric

Attic oratory

  • M. Gagarin, "Introduction:: Greek Oratory," in D18, pp. xi-xxix
  • E. Carawan, "Introduction: The Speechwriter's Art and the Imagined Community," AO pp. xxi-xxiv.
  • L. Rubenstein, "Arguments from Precedent in Attic Oratory," AO pp. 359-371.
  • H. Yunis, Taming Democracy: Models of Political Rhetoric in Classical Athens (Ithaca, NY), DF82 .Y86 1996.

Demosthenes: biography; political career; corpus of speeches

The assembly, lawcourts, celebrations & funerals: venues for oratory

The power of persuasion: from Gorgias and "intellectual oratory" to Demosthenes' On the Crown:

Forensic oratory and the lawcourts: citizens, women, prostitutes and legal procedures

  • Lysias' Against Eratosthenes
  • Apollodorus' Against Neaira
  • M. Lang, The Athenian Citizen: Democracy in the Athenian Agora, rev. J. McK. Camp II (American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 2004), especially the section on "Judiciary and Lawcourts," pp. 23-27.
  • S. Usher, "Lysias and his Clients," AO pp. 27-36.
  • J.R. Porter, "Adultery by the Book: Lysias 1 (On the Murder of Eratosthenes) and Comic Diegesis," AO pp. 60-88.
  • H. Meyer-Laurin, "Law and Equity in the Attic Trial," AO pp. 116-139.
  • S.C. Humphreys, "Social Relations on Stage: Witnesses in Classical Athens," AO pp. 141-213.
  • C. Carey, " 'Artless' Proofs in Aristotle and the Orators," AO pp. 229-246.
  • D.C. Mirhady, "Torture and Rhetoric in Athens," AO pp. 247-268.
  • S.C. Todd, "Lady Chatterley's Lover and the Attic Orators: The Social Composition of the Athenian Jury," AO pp. 312-358.

Epideictic oratory: funerary orations and Panhellenic festivals

Symbouleutic or deliberative oratory: the great debates in the ekklesia

  • Aeschines' On the Crown
  • Demosthenes' On the Crown
    • "18. In Defense of Ctesiphon On the Crown: Introduction - Background; Synopsis of the speech," in D18, pp. 23-31.
    • H. Yunis, "Politics as Literature: Demosthenes and the Burden of the Athenian Past," AO pp. 372-390.
    • Introduction to DOC:
      • "1. Athenian Poliltics in Response to Macedonian Expansion," pp. 1-6.
      • "2. The Graphe Paranomon and the Trial on Demosthenes' Crown," pp. 7-12.
      • "3. Explaining Chaeronea," pp. 12-17
Other speeches: Thucydides' Mytilenean debate (3.26-50); Melian dialogue (5.85-113)